Lando Norris Confesses McLaren’s Incredible P3 Finish in 2020 Wasn’t ‘On Merit’

Published 02/12/2021, 2:30 AM EST
HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY – Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren F1 walks in the Paddock during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheimring in Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Lando Norris helped McLaren claim their best finish since 2012 as they broke into the top-3 barrier. The Woking outfit plans to keep building on its momentum and bring the team back to their historical greatness.

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Norris will play an important role in the team’s goal of retaining the P3 position this season. However, the young Briton explains the challenges of realizing that goal this season.

“It’s going to be a step. We’ve still got a lot of work to do in terms of the car performance. We need a car that’s more convincingly third on merit, and we weren’t really able to do that in 2020.

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BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren F1 Team MCL35 Renault leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images)

That step isn’t just going to come from the engine; it’s going to have to come from the car as well,” he said.

This season, claiming the P3 position is going to be difficult for McLaren. The team has to battle with Aston Martin that looks dangerous and a recovering Ferrari with a young driver lineup.

Lando Norris speaks about making improvements to the car

The team is switching to a Mercedes engine this season. Despite many people believing that the new power unit will strengthen their campaign, Norris clarifies that is not the case. He believes that the team has to improve the car to challenge the P3 position.

“We’ll make some improvements over the winter and throughout 2021 but obviously look ahead to 2022, where there’s a new opportunity for everyone.

“It’s going to need to be a combination of car improvements and drivability, because I think our car is one of the most difficult to drive,” he explained.

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Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – November 12, 2020 McLaren’s Lando Norris during a press conference ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Meanwhile, the biggest chassis rule change in Formula 1 history will enter in 2022. For McLaren, that is an incredible opportunity if they play their technical cards right.

Lando Norris claimed his debut podium in the season opener last season. The Briton’s podium provided McLaren a momentum that helped them claim P3.

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This season, Norris will look to plot his path to the top of the podium for McLaren. Do you believe we will see him on the podium again this season?

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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